A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit claiming that Apple has an App Store monopoly on iOS. The makers of Coronavirus Reporter sued the Cupertino tech giant for rejecting their app from its App Store. However, in a 34-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Edward Chen said the developers’ arguments “failed to pass muster.”
App Store monopoly claim rejected by a federal judge
Coronavirus Reporter was denied App Store approval in 2020 after Apple decided it would only allow COVID-19 contact-tracing apps from government organizations and medical or educational institutions. After the developers of the app tried to appeal the rejection, they were told that the app could not be allowed on the platform because its “user-generated data has not been vetted for accuracy by a reputable source.”
The app’s creators along with other developers ended up filing a lawsuit that called for a preliminary injunction that would temporarily block the tech giant from rejecting certain apps. In addition, the lawsuit asked that the company be prevented from charging developers a $99 yearly App Store submission fee.
In a 34-page ruling issued Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Edward Chen denied the motion for an injunction. “Chen denied the motion for an injunction as moot after dismissing the lawsuit,” reports Courthouse News. “Chen found the developers failed to adequately identify a market over which Apple exerts monopolistic control.”
“Plaintiffs fail to define that area of effective competition in which they compete,” the ruling reads. “They are not smartphone manufacturers. Nor do they provide any other basis for the court to find that the market of U.S. Smartphones is the ‘area of effective competition for plaintiffs’ claims.”
The lawyer representing the developers of Coronavirus Reporter, Keith Matthews, said they intend to appeal the decision. But, the dismissal of the lawsuit is a big win for Apple since the company can now use this ruling in other cases as support for its stance on the App Store.